Sri Lanka

Throughout the centuries from the dawn of history, the Sinhalese and Tamil nations divided between themselves the possession of Ceylon, the Sinhalese inhabiting the interior of the country in its southern and western parts from the river Walawa to that of Chilaw and the Tamils possessing the Northern and Eastern parts.

The Tamil Kingdom was overthrown and conquered by the Portuguese and ruled from 1619 to 1658 and then by the Dutch from 1658 to 1795 and the British from 1795 to 1948. During the Portuguese and Dutch rule, the Tamil Kingdom and Sinhalese Kingdom were administered as separate units. The British for the purpose of easy administration on the recommendation of the Colebrook Commission joined the Sinhala Kingdoms and Tamil Kingdom in 1833.

It should be noted that the Tamil Kingdom flourished under Tamil Kings for 800 years under Ariya Chakravathies, the foregoing facts of history were completely overlooked by the British and the power over the entire country were transferred to the Sinhala Nation in the basis of a numerical majority, thereby reducing the Tamil Nation to the position of subject people. The successive Sri Lankan Governments since independence have always encouraged and fostered the aggressive Sinhala/Buddhist nationalism of the Sinhalese people and have used their political power to the detriment of the Tamils.

–          Immediately after the independence in 1948 the citizenship and franchise of the Tamils of Indian origin [who were brought by the British to work in their coffee and tea plantations] thereby reducing the Tamil representation in Parliament.

–          Making serious inroads into the territories of the former Tamil Kingdom by a system of planned and state aided Sinhalese colonization and large scale of recently encouraged Sinhalese encroachments calculated to make Tamils a minority in their own homeland.

–          Making Sinhala the only official language throughout the country thereby placing the stamp of inferiority on the Tamils and the Tamils being deprived of Government employment.

–          By giving the foremost place to Buddhism under the Republican Constitution in 1972 thereby reducing the Hindus, Christians, and Muslims to second class citizens in the country.

–          Denying to the Tamil speaking people equality of opportunity in the sphere of employment, education, land alienation and economic life in general and starving Tamil areas of large-scale industries and development endangering their very existence in Sri Lanka.

–          Unleashing pogroms, communal violence, and intimidation against the Tamil speaking people in 1956, 1958, 1971, 1977, 1981, 1983 and full-scale war from 2006-2009.  Army terror and oppression in the North and East of Sri Lanka and numerous massacres, torture rape etc.

–          Police violence at the International Tamil Conference in 1974, resulting in the death of nine persons. All these are calculated to instill terror in the minds of the Tamil speaking people thereby breaking the spirit and the will to resist injustice heaped on them.

–          Under the draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act [PTA] terrorizing, torturing and imprisoning Tamil youths without trial for long period on the flimsiest grounds. Some are still in jail for more than a decade without charges or trial.

–          The Republican Constitution adopted on the 27th of May 1972 has made Tamil nation a slave nation ruled by new colonial master. The Sinhalese who are using the power they have wrongly usurped are depriving the Tamil Nation of its territory, language economy, opportunities of employment and education thereby destroying all the attributes of nationhood of the Tamil people.

This Convention resolves that restoration and reconstruction of the free, sovereign, secular state of TAMIL EELAM based on the right of self-determination inherent to every nation, has become inevitable in order to safeguard the very existence of the TAMIL NATION of this country.

12 years on, after the end of the brutal genocidal war that left 200,000 lives killed  the Tamil people are continuing to be subjected to well programmed structural genocide by the Sri Lankan state. The Tamils who have been living in their traditional homeland in the North and East of the island of Sri Lanka  for thousands of years are facing a well planned and systematic annihilation. Archaeological evidences of the Tamils ancient and rich history are being destroyed and are built up with BUDDHIST STRUCTURES

The collective demands and wishes of the Tamil people to manage their political, social, economic and cultural affairs are completely denied to them even after 12 year the brutal war ended. The continuing sit-in protests by mothers of their missing ones for more than three years and other protests marching from Puttalam to Polikanday [P to P] emerged from the effects of war are being completely ignored by the Sri Lankan state. The Sri Lankan state is deliberately and meticulously decimating, the Tamil’s history by colonizing Sinhala/Buddhists in the North and East [The Traditional & Historical home land of the Tamils for centuries]

In conclusion, it is important to quote what the Washington Post, August 4, 1983 said about the situation in Sri Lanka “ If living together is so hard, what about a separate state in the north for the Tamils?. They have as good a claim to a nation of their own as most members of the United Nations. But as always it is a question of power, and in Sri Lanka the Sinhalese have the power. Do they also have the wisdom to see that the Tamil minority is treated in a way that justifies its retention within a unitary state?”.

(quoting from the book The Pen & The gun by S.Sivanayagam- page 75) 

When Tamil Eelam was justified in 1983, is there any reason to deny in 2009 after the worst massacres amounting to genocide were carried out after 1983.

Kumarathasan Rasingam, Secretary, Tamil Canadian Elders for Human Rights Org.


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